$1.29 Pricing Infects iTunes. Others To Follow.
Variable pricing including hundreds of hits tracks at $1.29 debuted this morning on iTunes. And while it's track prices remained at $.99 or less early this morning, Amazon and other services are expected to mimic the rise shortly.
Record labels, for the most part, determine download pricing. But sources tell Hypebot that no clear strategy has yet emerged despite several years of label pressure forcing variable pricing. Sony, Universal and EMI are said to be raising the price of hundreds of tracks each with an emphasis on hit product and a few big selling classics. WMG's offering is more extensive, measuring well over 1000 tracks. For all labels, the price of thousands of older tracks is being reduced to $. 69.
Indies appear to be resisting the temptation to raise any track prices, at least for now. For the major labels, however, the pricing shifts are part of an overall efforts to reverse a steady decline in revenue. Many observers question the net effect on profits given the potential backlash and the fact that other track prices have been lowered.
COMMENTARY: Another Missed Opportunity